On This Day 76 Years Ago: Churchill Said: “We shall fight on the beaches!”

On 4th June 1940 the Dunkirk evacuation was completed with over 338,000 troops rescued to fight another day and Winston Churchill made his famous “We shall fight on the beaches!” speech.

Mr Churchill tempered his admiration for the success of Operation Dynamo with these words:

“Wars are not won by evacuations”.

“There is no doubt in my mind that the last few weeks have been a colossal military disaster.”

“The British Expeditionary Force had to leave behind all its heavy armour and equipment.”

“The French army is weakened, the Belgian army has surrendered, Channel ports, valuable mines and factories in France and Belgium have been taken over by the enemy.”

“The nation must brace itself for another blow. We are told that Herr Hitler has a plan for invading the British Isles.”

“Returning the troops was vital if Britain is to resist such an invasion.”

He ended his speech with a defiant message to Hitler‘s armies.

“We shall defend our island whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills. We shall never surrender.”

“Britain will ride out the tyranny of war, if necessary for years, if necessary alone.”

Mr Churchill paid special tribute to the Royal Air Force that had provided what protection it could for the ships and stranded soldiers . The Royal Navy sent 220 light war ships and 650 other vessels under a hail of bombs and artillery fire.

See the original article on news.bbc.co.uk

Featured Image

Churchill "Fight them on the beaches!" speech in the House of Commons on Dunkirk.
Churchill’s “Fight them on the beaches!” speech in the House of Commons on Dunkirk.  Click on the picture to hear the speech on YouTube. Keep listening after the first video for the rest of the speech.

 

Facebook Comments
Share

Leave a Reply